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- Geo IoT includes great possibilities for tracking and locating devices. Johanna Konrad-Mausser names seven critical factors to make your Geo IoT project a success.
Knowing the precise location of your assets – whether it is a portable X-ray machine or aircraft de-icer – saves time and money. It is estimated that 28% of nurses spend at least an hour a shift searching for the equipment they need – costing something in the region of €4,056 a year for each nurse. It is a similar story in every industry, from aviation to manufacturing and retail.
Companies are losing between €0.4 million and €1.2 million through misplaced assets, values based on customer projects, empirical values, and public information. Classic asset tracking will help you find what is missing but Geo IoT goes much further. It opens up great opportunities to create new geo-aware solutions by combining localization technology and the IoT.
Making a success of Geo IoT
From our experience in helping customers deliver location-based solutions we believe there are seven critical success factors for successful localization projects.
1. Think about the opportunity
Start by deciding exactly how you plan to use geolocation solutions and how these will fit into your processes. In doing so, focus on those who will use the service and determine exactly what they want it to deliver. Establish which physical assets are there, what part they play in your business processes and who uses them. Identify critical bottlenecks in your operations and develop localization use cases using industry best practices that could solve those issues.
In order to get buy-in from key stakeholders it is also important, at this stage, to prepare the business case and show how you plan to measure the return on investment.
2. Think of the use case that can benefit you today – and in the future
When looking at what would benefit your business now, there will be use cases that stand out. But you must also consider future needs. Any solution you choose now should fit as many use cases as possible, giving you the flexibility to meet the priorities to come. So, for instance, tackling room-level localization of patients and assets in hospitals is likely to prove of higher value in the long run than investing in a highly accurate solution that allows to distinguish in which beds patients are located.
3. Think about the user first
For any solution to be useful it must be built with the end user in mind. To create a good user experience, you first have to follow the user journey and identify their pain points. Then any solution has to fit the way that they work. In a production plant, for example, where employees have no access to a computer but do have smartphones the solution should be tailored to the device that they have available.
4. Think long-term in choosing your vendor
There are many localization technologies and even more vendors located in the Geo IoT landscape. What is important is to select a stable, industry-proven vendor so that you have a solution that is available for years to come. As there are many start-ups and medium-sized companies among the vendors it is important to get a clear picture of what each one delivers before going ahead. We are continuously scouting the technology market and developed vendor evaluation criteria to ensure a selection process, which goes through the due diligence necessary to match the best technology to each use case.
5. Think quality
This is a point that we always like to stress. When implementing a solution, you need to be sure that it is ready for industrial use. There is a major difference between doing a proof of concept and developing a fully production-ready system that will run for several years and can be rolled out to other locations and countries.
6. Think scalable
Today’s success can be tomorrow’s problem, if you do not plan for the future. Designing a solution that will track 100 assets is one thing. But what if you later plan to include more types of assets or different locations? From 100 assets there might be a million to manage in your solution, so it has to be easily – and quickly – scalable.
7. Think open
When designing a solution, it is imperative to be open to the future. New use cases will evolve that you may want to add to your business. And with so many vendors active in the market, different technologies and industry best practices will emerge. An open and flexible design allows you to integrate these use cases and technologies into your solution, so that you can cover future requirements.
By following a systematic approach that leverages those success factors, we believe it is possible to combine localization technology and the IoT to generate added value through new geolocation solutions across every industry.